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Mountain Goats thread

Nich

stuck in baby prison
(he/him)
I was going to include a song lyric in the title, but out of dozens of albums and hundreds of songs, which one do you choose? Just this year (no, not This Year) they've released two new albums!

One is Songs for Pierre Chuvin, which I haven't engaged with much because much as it shames me to admit, the lo-fi tape deck recording era of tMG has never quite hit with me. It was released as a stopgap, fundraising effort to keep the band's various support staff paid in this year of no concerts, and I appreciate it as a gesture on that level, but I don't listen to it much. Maybe I'm missing out.

The other, which came out last week, is Getting Into Knives. This is a full band effort, apparently recorded back in March just before the lockdowns. I still miss the hard, sharp-edged mode Darnielle used to do more often with songs like "Werewolf Gimmick," "Estate Sale Sign," and "Rain in Soho," but even though this is a softer album in general much like In League with Dragons, there's a lot to like here. Currently my two faves are "Bell Swamp Connection" and "Picture of My Dress." What are yours?
 
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Patrick

Magic-User
(He/Him)
I love Tallahassee and a few other random songs I’ve heard, but I honestly haven’t listened to that much of their catalog. I should probably make it a point to fix that.
 
One is Songs for Pierre Chauvin, which I haven't engaged with much because much as it shames me to admit, the lo-fi tape deck recording era of tMG has never quite hit with me. It was released as a stopgap, fundraising effort to keep the band's various support staff paid in this year of no concerts, and I appreciate it as a gesture on that level, but I don't listen to it much. Maybe I'm missing out.

I love the early stuff and missed that this happened, so this is a delightful discovery for me!
 

shivam

commander damage
(he/hiim)
I'm a big fan of In League with Dragons, but man Pierre Chauvin really just spoke to me on a super deep level. I haven't listened to Getting into Knives yet, but here's some trivia- the last place JD was before he went to the studios to record the album in march was my house =) He was in SF doing three nights of super deep cut shows, and came over to play magic and hang out, and then flew out to record the album. And then quarantimes hit and that was that
 

Lokii

It's always time for burgers
(He/Him)
Staff member
Moderator
I love pretty much everything they've ever produced, but my favorites are We Shall All Be Healed, Tallahassee, and Heretic Pride. Such rich emotional depth and endlessly listenable.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Songs for Pierre Chauvin was one of the best surprises of the year for me, but I haven't gotten into Getting Into Knives all that much. "Picture of My Dress" is my early favorite, but I don't really remember too many of the other songs even though I've listened to the album two or three times already. I'm sure some other gems will emerge on closer listens, but so far nothing's stuck out.

I still love the Mountain Goats dearly though, have for at least 15 years. John Darnielle has to be one of our best living lyricists, and I'll make a point to see them every time they're in town. I watched their streaming studio show last week (and am excited for tonight's!), and even though I was alone in my room I still had the same urge to sing along to everything.
 

madhair60

Video games
I once burst into tears at the pub telling my girlfriend about Pale Green Things. Not playing the song or anything, just talking about it. Good stuff.
 

Syless

<internal screaming>
(she/her)
I know it's a pretty common take, but my personal favorite is The Sunset Tree, though I also have a soft spot for Moon Colony Bloodbath and The Life of the World to Come. I'm also not too into the lo-fi stuff- the only stuff off All Hail West Texas I like are The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of Denton and Color in Your Cheeks. But frankly Darnielle is a lyrical genius, so I will listen to any new TMG songs 'til the end of time.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I got into the Mountain Goats back in about 2002 after hearing of them from the webcomic Nothing Nice to Say. This was about the time of All Hail West Texas and Tallahassee, but I think I went with my usual method for a band I'd newly heard of at the time of downloading a few random songs. I also downloaded this show, which is excellent and I recommend to anyone interested in some of the earlier stuff. It's from after All Hail but before Tallahassee. There's a fair bit of All Hail material on it (I prefer this version of Source Decay to the album track - his voice goes up or something in the third verse and it just elevates it), but also a lot from across the 90s. There's a guy calling out for Downtown Seoul between most tracks, which is annoying, but John also plays an excellent version of Downtown Seoul towards the end of the show so maybe it's worth it.

I got really into tMG for quite a while, buying every album I could find, chasing down obscure songs (much easier now with the wiki and all the shows on the internet archive), but I think I kind of burned myself out on them a bit - I know and like the earlier stuff (say the first fifteen years) better than the more recent material, but I don't think it's because the newer stuff is worse. I kept buying the albums as they came out, but I didn't find as much time to listen to them and let them sink in. Last year I started listening through all my CDs in alphabetical order, and when I reached the Goats I found that some of those albums that had never really sunk in were really good. Goths and Beat the Champ stood out the most.

I really like You're in Maya. Up until the Sunset Tree, this was it for autobiographical tMG songs, and it's real good. I named my first car (a Toyota Camry) "The Falcon Uptown" after a line in this song: "I drove the Falcon uptown", because I was and am a terrible nerd.

Also: Raid on Entebbe. Man, how good is that?
 

Behemoth

Dostoevsky is immortal!
(he/him/his)
The Mountain Goats is one of my two favorite bands. I celebrate their entire catalogue, but Tallahassee is my favorite album, followed probably by fan-favorite The Sunset Tree (which is the album that got me into them in the first place). Of the 2020 albums, Songs for Pierre Chuvin is the one that more immediately spoke to me, but I need to spend some more time with Getting Into Knives.

I have a hard time keeping up with bands with prodigious outputs (e.g., Of Montreal, The Oh Sees (or whatever they're calling themselves these days), and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard). It's almost like more is less, and I'm more likely to follow a band and put the time into their albums when they release one every few years, rather than one (or more) a year. All that being said, The Mountain Goats are the exception to that rule, and I will always make time for whatever John Darnielle releases.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I'm warming up to Getting Into Knives. It's probably not gonna be one of my top 10 favorite tMG albums, but I think it's stronger than I originally gave it credit for. "Tidal Wave" is a dark horse for sure.
 

Vidfamne

Banned
They did an EP with Kaki King (Black Pear Tree), which is why I know them at all. I don't like The Mountain Goats. I like Kaki King, though, so I'll recommend "Roger Patterson Van" as the most King-like song on there. I do like that one.
 

Nich

stuck in baby prison
(he/him)
Been listening to the Jordan Lake sessions a lot--I missed the VOD release, and anyway I think this is the only live album they've done? Good stuff, at any rate. I wish the banter wasn't mixed so low, though.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
The entire Mountain Goats Merge catalog (i.e., almost every release dating back to the All Hail West Texas remaster) is pay-what-you-want on Bandcamp today.

 

Behemoth

Dostoevsky is immortal!
(he/him/his)
The Diaz Brothers is a super underrated Mountain Goats song (I'm particularly enjoying the Jordan Lake Sessions version right now).
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Is it underrated? I feel like it's always gotten a huge response every time I've seen them do it live. It's just a rad song.

Meanwhile, Getting Into Knives has really grown on me. I've had it on fairly heavy rotation for the past couple of weeks. "Picture of My Dress" and "Tidal Wave" are still the top songs for me, but I've found a lot to dig into with the songs that didn't initially do much for me too. "Rat Queen" is a jam.
 

Nich

stuck in baby prison
(he/him)
There's still a ton of albums I haven't even started on. Hearing "Lovecraft in Brooklyn" and "Heretic Pride" on the Jordan Lake Sessions drove me to finally listen to Heretic Pride, and it's probably one of my favorites now. "Autoclave" really hits close to home for me.
 

Behemoth

Dostoevsky is immortal!
(he/him/his)
There's still a ton of albums I haven't even started on. Hearing "Lovecraft in Brooklyn" and "Heretic Pride" on the Jordan Lake Sessions drove me to finally listen to Heretic Pride, and it's probably one of my favorites now. "Autoclave" really hits close to home for me.
That was my favorite album of 2008. I don't think they've done anything as good since (although Goths and Songs for Pierre Chauvin came close).
 

Behemoth

Dostoevsky is immortal!
(he/him/his)
Is it underrated? I feel like it's always gotten a huge response every time I've seen them do it live. It's just a rad song.
Maybe it's not underrated - it just seems like it's one that's never in the conversation when people are listing their favorite Mountain Goats songs.
 

Yimothy

Red Plane
(he/him)
I heard Waving At You recently for the first time in a while. I’ve got a persistent mishearing with that one where I hear the line “I went to buy you something” as “I went to bayou something” (which I imagine to be a swamp-themed homewares or clothing store). It’s particularly dumb because it only makes sense if you know what the line is supposed to be.
 

Behemoth

Dostoevsky is immortal!
(he/him/his)
They're gonna be doing two more Jordan Lake sets, and this time they're taking requests.

Let's start a wish list of songs we'd like to see on it. For me I'd like the following (just off the top of my head; I'm sure I'll think of others):

- Old College Try
- Autoclave
- Sept 15 1983
- See American Right
- Alibi
 

Nich

stuck in baby prison
(he/him)
Autoclave was what I requested, but I'd also love to see:
-High Hawk Season
-Picture of My Dress (probably a shoo-in)
-Rain in Soho
-Unicorn Tolerance
-Psalms 40:2
-Oceanographer's Choice (goddamn, this should have been my request)
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
You can request a song once per day, according to the bot when I tried to request a second song last night! Here's what I'm putting in:

-Sinaloan Milk Snake Song
-California Song
-The Ballad of Bull Ramos
 
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